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Small RNA Profiling of piRNAs in Colorectal Cancer Identifies Consistent Overexpression of piR-24000 That Correlates Clinically with an Aggressive Disease Phenotype

Department of Surgery, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010188
Received: 21 November 2019 / Revised: 31 December 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2020 / Published: 12 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metastatic Colorectal Cancer)
Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) represent a novel class of small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that have been shown to have a deregulated expression in several cancers, although their clinical significance in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains unclear. With an aim of delineating the piRNA distribution in CRC, we conducted a systematic discovery and validation of piRNAs within two clinical cohorts. In the discovery phase, we profiled tumor and adjacent normal tissues from 18 CRC patients by deep sequencing and identified a global piRNA downregulation in CRC. Moreover, we identified piR-24000 as an unexplored piRNA that was significantly overexpressed in CRC. Using qPCR, we validated the overexpression of piR-24000 in 87 CRC patients. Additionally, we identified a significant association between a high expression of piR-24000 and an aggressive CRC phenotype including poor differentiation, presence of distant metastases, and a higher stage. Lastly, ROC analysis demonstrated a strong diagnostic power of piR-24000 in discriminating CRC patients from normal subjects. Taken together, this study provides one of the earliest large-scale reports of the global distribution of piRNAs in CRC. In addition, piR-24000 was identified as a likely oncogene in CRC that can serve as a biomarker or a therapeutic target. View Full-Text
Keywords: piRNA; colorectal cancer; prognosis; piR-24000; non-coding RNA; biomarker piRNA; colorectal cancer; prognosis; piR-24000; non-coding RNA; biomarker
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Iyer, D.N.; Wan, T. .-H.; Man, J. .-W.; Sin, R. .-Y.; Li, X.; Lo, O. .-H.; Foo, D. .-C.; Pang, R. .-C.; Law, W.-L.; Ng, L. Small RNA Profiling of piRNAs in Colorectal Cancer Identifies Consistent Overexpression of piR-24000 That Correlates Clinically with an Aggressive Disease Phenotype. Cancers 2020, 12, 188.

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